Writing Portfolio: Five Essays on America
Contents

Origins

Nature

Humor

Literature

Sport

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My grandfather died whenI was little. I already knew that after swimming competitively for many years, he was a strong swimmer. I already knew that the day after F.D.R. declared war on Japan, my grandfather joined the Army. I still wanted to know something unique about him. After asking my mom and her mother, I was able to get a solid story about one of my grandfather's courageous deeds. Until 1986, my grandparents lived in Boston.

One winter night in the mid seventies, ny grandfather was driving home from work. Ice and snow made the streets treacherous. Suddenly, he saw a Volkeswagon Beetle coming sliding off a road and into a freezing cold Charles River. Being the heroic person that he was, he went after it. He took of his shoes and watch, and dove into the frigid water. The car was sinking and would soon kill the driver.

Fortunately, my grandfather's aquaticexpertise saved the driver. While a person was taking my grandfather's shoes and watch, my grandfather was getting a Volkeswagon door to open. He brought the driver to the surface, and saved their life. He could save their life, but he couldn't save his clothes. Today, Robert Connors' grave holds a plaque. It commemorates his service in the Army.

There also are stories that commemorate his heroic life. I just told you one of them. This story teaches us that anyone can be a hero as long as they have the required amounts of strength and determination.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote "I become a transparent eyeball; I am nothing: I see all; the currents of the Universal being circulates around me."  That is often how I feel when I look out my window.  Everyday, I can see a large variety of nature through the window of my room.  the farther I go into the forrest, the more interesting the sights.  Where I live, one can see anything from a squirrel running across the top of the Roxbury Latin property fence to the old Volkeswagen bus forever sunken into the swamp.  As seasons change from winter, to spring, to summer, to autumn, you can see how the change affects the animals, plants, and temperature.  in the frigid months of winter, I can see loads of snow settled on the green needles of the pine trees.  In the spring, I can see the rejuvination of life to the environs of Boston.  In the summer, I can observe all kinds of animals, from the mysterious coyotes finding their way into the city, to the bluejays and cardinals, to the majestic flight of the hawk soaring overhead.  In the fall, I see all nature hide away for a period of hibenation.  
    A the beginning of my study of the Roxbury Latin woods, it was the middle of October.  All of the trees were heavily populated with leaves.  I could see such animals as squirrels, rabbits, and chipmunks appear among the trees, and occasionally venture out into people's backyards.  There are other animals that are rarely seen.  Still people know that they are out there.  Such species include wild turkeys and coyotes.  Seagulls and Canadian geese hang out in the fields during the early hours of the morning.  Crows were everywhere, and there was always at least one family of cardinals and one family of bluejays.  
    For a couple of years, people haven't visited the swamp.  They find it dangerous since coyotes might be nearby.  the leaves start to litter the ground, and show it to be a variety of red, orange, yellow, and brown.  the crows create problems  for nearby neighborhoods when they search ravinously for grubs to eat.  They leave West Roxbury shortly after all the hawks, gulls, geese, cardinals, and jays.  As winter grows closer, sightings of turkeys become rare.  He seems to vanish at the beginning of winter, and then reappear in the first days of spring.  I watch the antics of squirrels on the fence.  I've seen them gathering food to hoard away for the merciless freeze of winter.  I've noticed that they twitch the tip of their tails very often.  I believe that it is a voluntary motion used as a signal of some sort to other squirrels.  
    Eventually, all is lost until regained five months later.  It is like Mother Nature's ghost town.  all is quiet except for the bitter cold wind of winter.  Every year, how I miss the feel of the sun on my face.  How I miss waking up to the sound of birds.  Whether its the honking of Canadian geese or the twitter of a sparrow.  I don't care as long as its lively.  The fields are deserted.  With the exception of pine trees, all visible life is dormant.  All visible life seems dead.  Still, nothing is gone forever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A couple of weeks before Christmas, a boy named Bobnt Christmas shopping with his friends.  He ha already stopped already stopped at places sam Goody and Olympia Sports.  Now he had to get something for his grandmother. Bob decided to get her a box of chocolates from Godiva.  That night, while his family was away at his cousins' house, he wrapped the gifts.
    On Christmas morning, he woke up to find the box of chocolates on the top of the record player.  They had to keep them from the dog.  The family planned on going to the grandmother's house for Christmas dinner.  They planned to bring the gifts there.  
    After dinner, people started opening gifts.  The boy didn't see the chocolates anywhere.  Bob asked his mother, "Mom, where's her gift?".
    "Oh, no," she said, "I forgot it."
    The next day, the Bob's mother, sister, and grandmother were going to visit his cousins.  His mom was going to give his grandmother her gift duringthe ride.  Again, they, forgot it.  The next day, Bob's grandmother was minding his sister.  She opened it and said "Oh my goodness.  Did you pick this out?".  That night, Grandmother left, the chocolates were still there.  
    That Saturday, the boy's parents were hosting a party, so Bob and his sister were to sleep over their grandmother's house.  He made sure that the chocolates were with him.  That night, on the kitchen table, at his grandmother's house, were the chocolates.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    It is a timeless desire to be able to criticize the world.  People where ever, when ever, want to speak freely without caring about outside opinion.  People dream of speaking their minds.  In my studies of American literature, I found Emily Dickinson to be an extraordinary example of someone who wrote about the world around her, and did not care about what others thought.  A poem that exhibits this unique personality is "My Letter to the World."


    Miss Dickinson lived her life in isolation.  The few times she met with people, were only necessary.  Otherwise, she would work on her poetry.  She frequently wrote letters, but no relationships of correspondence could effect her opinions on the world.  In a way, this can be percieved as a blessing, rather than a curse


    The line, " This is my letter to the world that never wrote to me." has the most impact on the reader.  The reader, just after reading the first line, has a sense of what Emily Dickinson is trying to put across.  The poet writes of the world in the form of a critique.  Writing a letter to which nobody will correspond can portraya sense of lonliness in some people's minds.  For Dickinson, lonliness in some people's minds.  For Dickinson's courage to go head-on into things not fearing embarrasment.  Doing such is what some people can only dream about.  People want to be able to speak with such courage.  People want to be their own man.


    At this time of age, and perhaps all throughout history, adolescents have wanted to be unique.  They want to express their true ideas without an impression by popular demand.  Emily Dickinson at such young age, wrote with such courage.


    People should speak their minds, and speaking what you believe to be true, are important for a person.  It is a doorway to absolute freedom and creativity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A sport is both a game and a test of ahleticism.  It can be played proffessionally or by ameteurs.  It can be read about in the newspaers, magazines, or the internet.  It can be followed on television or the radio.  The sport that I chose to write about is rugby.  This sport (ressembling American football) has become big in Japan, Australia, South Africa, and the United States.  In this essay, I shall tell you about the history of rugby and its interesting set of rules.
   I have read in an article on Encarta '99 about how rugby was rumored to be invented.  It is said to have occurred when a boy in Rugby, England.  He picked up the ball, and ran up the field.  Although this was against the rules, it gave birth to a new sport.  In the eighteen-hundreds, The English Rugby Union established a basic set of rules.  
   The ball is blunter than a football.  This is so that the ball can be drop0kicked or bounced.  A substitute is only allowed if a player is injured.  In that case, the player can't re-enter the game.  Compared to sixty-minute football game, a rugby game lasts for eighty minutes.  A play begins when a scrummage is formed among the forwards.  The backs try to deliver the ball up the field.  If they get to the other side, the team scores a try and is rewarded five points.  Then, they have the chance to kick for extra points.  There is only one basic rule.  Though, when the rule is broken, the team is given a penalty kick.  If the kick is valid, they are awarded points.  
    I suppose that what has made rugby an American sport is its relation to football.  First, there are some similarities in the rules.  Both sports share an essence of aggression among the players  Recently, rubgy has been revolutionized in the United States.  Such sports as basketball, hockey, and soccer are now open opportunities to women.  The same goes for rugby.  Today, I read an article by an anonymous author who wrote about a girls' rugby tournement in Belfast.  Mary Peters, ( a star player for an amateur team), says, " I think it's great that girls have taken rugby to their hearts, and the whole concept is a great idea."   The author adds, "Girls' rugby is just one of the sixteen sports encompassed in the Sports Council showcase which is now in its third year."  This is a good sign for the flourishing sport.  Later, I asked the opinion of Heather Workman of the Lady Hooligans, (a proffessional women's rugby team).  I asked her about what it takes to be a rugby player.  This New Yorker doesn't believe that gender is the most important aspect of a rugby player.  She tells me, "It takes a certain attitude."    Women's rugby isn't just spprouting up in Ireland and New York.  There are also women's rugby teams at colleges.  In a weblog that I read, another unknown author reports that there is a women's rugby club at Texas A&M.  
    So far in my studies, rugby seems most interesting.  the rules are simple.  The game is hard.  It is closely related to American football.  Not only is rugby becoming an American sport, its also becoming Australian, African, Japanese, and more.